…or at least finding out where (and when) the beginning actually is.
Or should be.
Traditionally, every story has a beginning, middle and an end – introducing the characters, adding a sense of conflict/danger (perhaps a dash of romance for good measure) and the eventual dénouement / resolution where things are resolved (for better or for worse) and all (or at least some) of the loose ends are tied up. In the midst of building the (quasi-alternate) universe of my main series saga WIP (the MASC Chronicles), exact details need to be finalized, and character/situation exposition should be fleshed out accordingly.
Of course, in the course of figuring out all that, the time continuum shifts and things get timey-wimey, wibbly-wobbly rather quickly. Finding my way back to the warm(er) environs of the (mythical) Land of Exposition (which, will inevitably be explained in quasi-full detail at some vague later date), I keep pondering and re-pondering the exact details of that quasi-alternate (historical) universe, and the families that reside in it and interact with one another. The names sometimes change, and their roles shift from protagonist to antagonist (or situate in some grey area), but almost always, the family histories of these few families keeps growing. To the point where a potential prequel series is blended into the current story arc, if only to keep straight in my head how things got to be the way they are, when and who was responsible for what happened wherever happened and why. This is slightly different from the “what if?” path (which widens the possibilities of where a story can end up) – building the Canon universe is as puzzling and tricky as thinking up of the AU universe(s). So it stands (at least as of right now) there will be expository stories to shed some light on the main story arc. While I had intended each novel to be stand-alone mysteries, the way the entire series saga is/was set up, there are elements that carry over within and between series.
And this pondering and plotting is only for the first series – akin to a partially submerged iceberg – I have yet to actually think about the details for series two and series three (though rough outlines generally made). I have a quasi-vague idea where and how the entire saga will play out – it’s just the details that are (still) hazy.
Actually!writing the narrative has prompted this revival of exposition-thinking and character adjusting, though I think I may have strayed (a bit) from the original tone of the series saga, straying into the subplot genres. Getting back on track is now the paramount task at hand, if I’m to actually!write these stories.
Knowing exactly where (and when) to start is the first step.